PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Florida began the spring season the same way it started the fall: with a resounding victory.
The Gators, No. 3 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, built a commanding lead after the first two rounds and cruised to a 25-stroke victory Tuesday in the JU Invitational. Florida shot 6-under 858 at the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass to finish well ahead of North Florida.
Gators senior Bank Vongvanij continued his resurgent play, earning medalist honors for the second time this season (Isleworth Collegiate in late October). In four college starts this season, Vongvanij, No. 2 in Golfweek’s Rankings, hasn’t finished outside of the top 5. Between semesters, he also was runner-up at the New Year’s Invitational.
At the JU Invite, Vongvanij closed with a 1-over 73 to finish at 5-under 211, two strokes ahead of Liberty’s Robert Karlsson. Clemson’s Corbin Mills and North Florida’s Kevin Phelan finished another shot behind.
As a team, Florida now has posted two wins this season – the season-opening Olympia Fields Invitational and JU Invite – and hasn’t finished worse than third in four starts. The Gators ran away with the JU Invite after rounds of 286-283 gave them a 17-shot advantage entering the final round. A closing 1-over 289 was the second-best round of the day.
Despite finishing 25 shots back, North Florida (883) still recorded its best result of the season. Jacksonville State and Liberty tied for third at 22-over 886.
Florida returns to action Feb. 12-13 with its own event, the Gator Invitational in Gainesville.